‘Pamina Devi’, a choreography by Sophiline Shapiro based on W.A. Mozart’s ‘Die Zauberflöte’ was first created in 2006 for the New Crowned Hope Festival in Vienna curated by Peter Sellars on the occasion of the celebration of the composer’s 250th anniversary. Only the basic theme of Mozart’s libretto remains in this production which for the rest is totally Khmer.
Ms. Shapiro’s ‘Pamina Devi’, although it was shown at the Schönbrunn Palace Theater in Vienna in 2006, toured the US in 2007 and the Netherlands in 2008, was never presented properly to the Cambodian public until now. The performance by the Sophiline Arts Ensemble can be attended at the Department of Performing Arts Theater (Streets 384 & 173 behind Spark & Tawandang Microbrewery) 21-23 May at 7 PM and 24 May at 4 PM.
It must be said that the Department of Performing Arts Theater is probably one of the worst conceived theaters one can find in this universe. Performers who pull off a wonderfull show like this in such a performing-arts-unfriendly location, are worthy of our admiration.
The Cambodia Daily ran 5 pages (with the coulour versions of the photographs) about the rehearsals of the play in its print version of May 23rd and features a video in its online version at THIS LINK.
The mirage is growing… I continue to follow the development of Koh Pich (Diamond Island). I started this in 2009 (see HERE), basically photographing the changing landscape of the island where many families who were providing vegetables to the people in Phnom Penh were evicted from.
The whole place looks a bit like a real-life Sim-city game, referring to classical French architecture: put a Versailles inspired building here, drop an empty city hall there, shamelessly copy Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands, add a park with sculptures here or there, preferably representing exotic animals. It’ll keep the people happy…
First time in Hong Kong. Just 6 days… Now THAT is quite a city. Why didn’t I end up living there at one point in my life?
This is a selection. The full set is on my website HERE.
Ten of the eleven land rights activists who were in jail after having been arrested on November 11 and 12 2014 have been released from Prey Sar prison today at 3:40 PM, through a Royal Pardon granted for Khmer New Year. That is the surface. The release was negotiated by the opposition CNRP who convinced the ruling CPP to show some goodwill now that the new National Election Committee members took their oath in front of King Sihamoni at the same moment the activists were released.
For what happened before, please refer to ‘HEARTHS OF RESISTANCE’
The following photographs are just a small sample of ‘Hearths of Resistance’, an ebook which focuses on the social and political turmoil during the 18 months after the 2013 legislative elections in Cambodia. With the opposition CNRP gaining a surprising 55 of the 123 seats at the National Assembly, this was the first serious democratic challenge for Prime Minister Hun Sen in some 30 years. Surfing on this success and relying on a pool of disgruntled citizens who suffered land grabbings, on the 600,000 garment factory workers living on insufficient wages and more generally on normal citizens confronted with a daily dosis of corruption and injustice, the CNRP managed to mobilize the masses for 6 months. A violent crackdown by the army on January 3rd of striking workers forced the opposition into a strategy of compromise. The workers and the evicted communities had to rely on their own.
With over 500 photographs and a video, an interactive map, a glossary available through the captions and quotes from protesters giving their definition of the word ‘resistance’, this ebook is an attempt to show the resilience of those who resist the erosion of their human rights.
‘Hearths of Resistance’, an ebook for your iPad or your Apple computer running iBooks is now available on iTunes for less than 7$ at this link.
A review posted on iTunes by those who bought the ebook would be very much appreciated.